Wells Fargo recently fired 5,300 employees for opening over 2 million fake bank accounts. The accounts were opened under their own client’s names and without their knowledge. We often worry about identity theft or outside fraud happening to us, but in the wake of Wells Fargo’s mind-boggling account scam we now need to worry about this happening within our own bank!
Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself:
1) Check Your Accounts: A former Wells Fargo manager, Maged Nashid, recently said in an interview to look for suspicious withdrawals ranging from $25 to $100. AKA the amount needed to open a Wells Fargo checking or savings account.
Clients often barely notice these small charges or don’t want to go through the hassle of filling out forms to get their money back. But these small charges could mean a lot more than simply $25 lost.
2) Ask for a Social Security Inquiry from your Bank: Banks can run a check through their systems based on your name or social security information to help you locate any accounts with your information.
3) Be Wary of Questionable Mail: Mike Feuer, a Los Angeles City Attorney who has filed a civil complaint against Wells Fargo, also opened up in interviews about his thoughts concerning this scam.
He said people should be cautious about credit or debit cards arriving to their home for accounts they have not opened. Any suspicious mail from your bank should be looked into. Don’t just toss it aside!
4) Set Up ACH Filters or Positive Pay: ACH or electronic fund transfers are a common method used by scammers to steal money from bank accounts. Often all that is needed to steal funds in this manner is an account and bank routing number.
However, you can set up ACH protections. These can require such transfers to be pre-authorized or reviewed before being completed and will help protect you. Talk to your bank about setting up these filters and protections.
What’s happening with Wells Fargo now?
Along with firing 5,300 employees who were involved in the scandal, Wells Fargo has made it known that they are trying to switch from a focus on sales quotas to good customer service in order to help rectify this problem. The bank announced that they are going to stop their sales goals altogether beginning January 1st.
L.A. attorney, Feuer, stated that Wells has a long way to go to help fix this problem.
“Clearly the necessity to fire 5,300 employees shows that there is something that needs to change with Wells internal oversight and with its practices generally,” Feuer said in an interview.
Wells Fargo wasn’t just dealing with one #EmployeeFromHell but a whole lot of problems going on inside.